I have been on many island tours in the ten years that I have been living on the Caribbean island of Grenada. In this blog I share my favourite experiences from across the Isle of Spice.
We go to: Annandale Waterfall, Pearls Airport, River Sallee Sulphur Spring, engage with the Grand Etang Mona Monkey, enjoy the Welcome Stone views, Grand Etang Lake, Concord Waterfalls, Bathway Beach, Diamond (Jouvay) Chocolate Factory and Levera Beach.
And as I continue to explore this beautiful island, including the sister isle of Carriacou & Petite Martinique, I will add more places to this blog!
(1) Annandale Waterfall
Our first stop is Annandale Waterfall which can be found in the area of Willis in the Parish of St George and is part of the Annandale Forest Park.
Years ago, the area around the waterfall was a forest and untouched but today there is a bar and restaurant called Wild Orchid Grenada which also has an entertainment space hosting live bands and events.
Before heading down to the waterfall, we passed through a gift shop selling spices, jewelry, arts and crafts and much more. There are also toilet facilities!
On the day I visited the cruise line ships were in and so it was very busy with tourists.
Inside the gift shop we paid a fee to walk to the waterfall. At the time of my visit (Nov 2022) it was $10EC for tourists and $3EC for Grenada nationals and citizens. The fee is fair if you are using the facilities but questionable if all you are doing is observing the waterfall.
On the way down to the waterfall we came across two women with baskets of fruits and flowers on their head. They were looking very colourful and offered a great opportunity for a selfie.
Upstairs at Wild Orchid is a lovely space for hanging with friends and family. You can sip on a cold drink and enjoy the waterfall below.
The waterfall itself is not as tall as some but still very powerful and impressive. And there is a nice pool below the waterfall where you can go for a dip.
I came across a waterfall jumper who, if you pay a donation, will jump from the top of the falls. Personally I felt he should jump and then ask for a tip. I imagine he would make more money that way.
(2) Pearls Airport – Airstrip & Old Planes
I love visiting the now defunct Pearls Airport in the Parish of St Andrew. The wonderful landscape reminds me of Jurrasic Park! I keep expecting a dinosaur to step out from between the trees at any moment!
The airstrip is possibly the longest straight road in Grenada and so I love being in a car that is driven fast from one end to the other! This old airstrip is used by locals for drag racing, kite flying, political rallies and much more!
Possibly the best feeling on earth is standing at the end of the airstrip to take in the strong breeze and sprays of water from the Atlantic ocean. And the sounds of the crashing waves is wonderful, it reminds you what an amazing world we live in.
Bringing character to Pearls airport are two derelict planes. One is Cuban and the other Russian. Both destroyed by the US military when they invaded Grenada in 1983.
I’m pleased with the love and attention that has been paid to this area. At one time the ground was very messy with plants beginning to take over the planes as well as goats and cows roaming around. Now, it has been cleaned up and has become a great spot for taking selfies. There are also picnic tables so the perfect place to bring the whole family.
(3) River Sallee Sulphur Spring
Every visitor to Grenada must experience the seven-step skin exfoliation process at River Sallee Sulphur Spring. First they apply the sulphur all over your body, from head to foot, whilst also performing a massage. Then you wait for fifteen minutes or so, in the sun, for the sulphur to dry. Then the sulphur is dusted off which takes around two minutes.
You then enter a large warm pond full of sulphur water to soak and wash off the rest of the sulphur. You are then transferred to a smaller sulphur water pond which is even warmer for a lovely long soak. Next you are taken to a well full of sulphur water which is retrieved in a bucket with a string. This water is poured all over your body and it feels so good. The final stage is to be rubbed down, from head to foot, with coconut oil. Altogether an exquisite experience!
At the entrance to River Sallee Sulphur Spring our tour guide, Carl Nedd, of Executive Taxi & Tours, (1-473-458-3228) educated us on the many uses of a nutmeg. Every part of the nutmeg is used, nothing goes to waste. Be sure to watch my vlog for the full and fascinating explanation.
(4) Grand Etang Mona Monkey
I ticked another box on my bucket list when I chilled with a Mona Monkey in the Grand Etang National Park. I was a little afraid, kept thinking the monkey might turn and attack me but, as long as you continue to feed them, they are absolutely fine. The monkey was very light and soft too.
What fascinates me the most about the Mona Monkey is that they exist in Grenada because of the trans Atlantic slave trade. They were transported over, from Ghana, on the slave ships! Handling them made me feel somehow connected to my ancestors.
Helping to make the day extra special was our guide: Carl Nedd of Executive Taxi & Tours (1-473-458-3228). The journey was super comfortable in his luxury car, which had WiFi! Carl shared lots of historical facts and interesting information along the way and he also kept us refreshed with water and rum punch!
(5) Welcome Stone, Levera National Park
At last I got to tick this experience off my bucket list which was to sit on the Welcome Stone in Levera National Park in the Parish of St Patrick. I have seen so many people on the internet do this and I longed for it to be me. And the views are even more spectacular than I had seen imagined. Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you tour guide, Carl Nedd, for the wonderful image.
In the very far distance you can see the sister isle of Carriacou and in the near distance Sugar Loaf Island, Green Island and Sandy Island. We drove up a very steep hill and then did a little hiking to reach this point. I was grateful I did not have to hike from the bottom of the hill as I have seen some people do online.
(6) Crater Lake, Grand Etang National Park
If you are looking for a place to relax, feel calm, regulate your breathing and meditate then visit the Grand Etang crater lake. An eerie but stunningly beautiful location which is1,740 ft above sea level.
What is particularly fascinating is the way the fog creeps over the mountains in the distance.This volcano last erupted 12000 years ago and helped to form the island of Grenada.
Out of interest, once upon a time there were gazebos at the Grand Etang Lake but on a recent visit the gazebos were gone.
A plaque reminds us that they were a gift from the government of China, would love to know whey they have been removed!
Also at the entrance to the Grand Etang lake you can engage with Mona Monkeys!
(7) Concord Waterfall
The very photogenic Concord waterfall. Unlike Annandale there is no fee to view it because it can be seen from both the road and the the gift shop. But if you want to take a dip in its sparkling blue pool you will have to pay a fee to get down there.
I also saw some Mona Monkeys in a cage, at Concord Waterfalls, which saddened me. The cage did not look big enough for them and I had to wonder whether caging them is even legal. Either way, I hope they let them go back to their natural habitat one day!
(8) Bathway Beach
I love listening to the crashing waves at Bathway Beach which can be found in the Parish of St Patrick. In the distance there is a coral rock shelf which keeps the waters by the sand fairly calm but be sure not to venture beyond those rocks!
I used to come to this spot back in the 80s and 90s when there was absolutely nothing there except the ocean and the trees. But I’m glad to see changes to make visitor lives a little easier. These days you will find a food and drinks hut as well as a restroom and showers.
(9) Diamond Chocolate Factory
If you love dark chocolate then be sure to drop by the Diamond Chocolate Factory. Besides sampling some of the delicious Jouvay chocolate you can also tour the factory to see how the chocolate is made. They also have a gift shop selling local arts and crafts.
(10) Levera Beach
Another stunningly beautiful location is Levera beach which is a part of the Levera National Park in the north east of Grenada. In the distance is the privately owned Sugar Loaf island which can also be seen from the Welcome Stone.
I mentioned in my video blog that a Citizens By Investment resort is scheduled to be built in the wetlands of the Levera National Park. After doing a little digging to find out its progress I cam across this from Bird Caribbean website. The believe all these CBI resorts in Grenada will have a negative effect on the island, in particular the wildlife, the sea turtles and Grenada’s official bird, the Grenada Dove. Read about it HERE and there is more information on a press release on Now Grenada news website HERE.
Levera beach is possibly the strangest beach in Grenada. I say that because I have never seen a single boat on the waters or a single person swimming in the sea. Levera beach is also known as turtle beach because this is where the protected Leatheback turtles come to lay their eggs. You can witness this incredible event with an authorised guide or you can volunteer with turtle conservationist, Ocean Spirits.